A fourteen-year-old girl with hair-pulling disorder came to me with her mom. She was bald in patches. Her mom told me that she pulls her hair at night, leaving a bunch of hair on the pillow every morning. Her mom started covering the girl’s head with a scarf every night, but it didn’t help.
Her mom took her to a physician, who referred her to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist diagnosed that she is in depression, and he prescribed an anti-depressant. The girl took one pill of anti-depressant daily bedtime for a month, but she couldn’t wake up in the morning for school.
This was a big concern for her mom, as it interfered with her daughter’s studies. As her mom was herself a school teacher, she discussed this problem with the school principal. The principal suggested to “tie her hands at bedtime”. When the girl heard this, it made her furious, and she stopped the anti-depressant and again started pulling her hair.
The girl was otherwise healthy. She seemed happy, confident, and contented. Apparently, she had “no depression”. She had no complaint other than she was herself concerned about this habit. She said that she automatically pulled her hair at night whenever she is thinking of something.
Her case was quite confusing. I was not able to find any good physical, mental or pathological symptoms. All her tests and reports were normal. After taking her detailed case history, I casually asked her: ‘When you pull your hair, does it hurt?’ She answered she feels no pain and no sensation. Belladonna came to my mind, as Belladonna has loss of sensation and aggravation at night (or in sleep).
I repeated Belladonna 30C, at intervals for 3 months. After three months, she came to my office. I asked her jokingly to pull her hair in front of me. She replied, “how can I pull my hair, it hurts.”
She now has beautiful hair, touch wood!